Antiscience bill passed in Florida

A Florida bill aimed at empowering taxpayers to object to the use of specific instructional materials in the public schools, with climate change and evolution clearly among the targets, is now headed to Governor Rick Scott's desk for a signature.

The bill in question is House Bill 989, which the House of Representatives passed in April 2017. A similar bill, Senate Bill 1210, was making its way through the Senate, but was abandoned in favor of HB 989, which the Senate then passed on a 19-17 vote on May 5, 2017.

Supporters of the two bills submitted affidavits that complained, "I have witnessed students being taught evolution as fact ... rather than theory ... I have witnessed children being taught that Global Warming is a reality," as Brandon Haught of Florida Citizens for Science, writing in the Tallahassee Democrat (April 14, 2017), observed.

Haught warned there that if the bills became law, "school boards will become inundated with demands that certain books be banned and that schools must discontinue using textbooks that don't mesh with a vocal minority's ideological views."

Assuming that a gubernatorial veto is not forthcoming, Haught told Motherboard (May 2, 2017), it will be up to Floridians concerned with the integrity of science education "to keep an eye on your local school board."